Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Kite Runner

I watched the movie and love it. I have scanned through the book and there is so much to learn from this story especially on Afghanistan and to be grateful for whatever we have in life.
Hassan's words to convey his friendship message- "For you, a thousand times over" are memorable indeed.

However, once we pass the halfway mark, the film leaves all complexities behind and dives straight into the good-Arab bad-Arab formula, and is more like watching a Roadrunner cartoon than a movie. It offers absolutely no insight or depth into the Taliban whatsoever, instead going with a simplified paint-by-the-numbers the-Taliban-are-just-evil-to-the-bone-because-they-were-born-that-way rhetoric.

It is no surprise to us that Assef is in the Taliban - he was a prissy rapist at the beginning of the film. Bad people grow up to be in the Taliban. Good people grow up to fight the Taliban. How very simplified and nice and easy to swallow. It is as insulting to the intelligence as Ralph Fiennes' character in Schindler's List - evil, evil Nazi. Reducing Nazis and Taliban to simplistic evil monsters makes us feel safer, as if there is an us and a them, negating the complexity and humanness of those we like to call evil, and shying away from the evil we all are capable of.

The Afghan government has banned the film from movie theaters and DVD shops because of the rape scene and the ethnic tensions and class struggles that the film highlights


THE KITE RUNNER

Over five years on the New York Times bestseller list, and published in 42 different languages.

Taking us from Afghanistan in the final days of the monarchy to the present, The Kite Runner is the unforgettable, beautifully told story of the friendship between two boys growing up in Kabul. Raised in the same household and sharing the same wet nurse, Amir and Hassan nonetheless grow up in different worlds: Amir is the son of a prominent and wealthy man, while Hassan, the son of Amir's father's servant, is a Hazara, member of a shunned ethnic minority. Their intertwined lives, and their fates, reflect the eventual tragedy of the world around them. When the Soviets invade and Amir and his father flee the country for a new life in California, Amir thinks that he has escaped his past. And yet he cannot leave the memory of Hassan behind him.

The Kite Runner is a novel about friendship, betrayal, and the price of loyalty. It is about the bonds between fathers and sons, and the power of their lies. Written against a history that has not been told in fiction before, The Kite Runner describes the rich culture and beauty of a land in the process of being destroyed. But with the devastation, Khaled Hosseini also gives us hope: through the novel's faith in the power of reading and storytelling, and in the possibilities he shows for redemption.

The Kite Runner Movie

Greetings again from the darkness. Based on the mega-best seller from author Khaled Hosseini, the film provides us a peak at the ugliness of post-Russia invaded Afghanistan and the terror of the Taliban. Director Marc Foster adds a gem to his resume, which already includes "Monster's Ball", "Finding Neverland" and "Stranger Than Fiction".

The story of young friends Amir and Hassan and the unknown bond they share into the next generation. This is a story of honor and courage and loyalty and is an unusual coming-of-age tale. Some great scenes of the boys when they are kids and then a couple of truly amazing scenes as Amir returns as an adult to find Hassan's imprisoned son.

This is tight, compelling story telling with a message. The acting is solid throughout, with no one actor stealing the screen. Although not a pleasant story to watch unfold, it is certainly meaningful and heart felt. Plus a quick shot of Midnight Oil playing in the pool hall is a welcome gift.

1 comment:

Bill Doughty said...

Yours is a thoughtful and elegant review of Khaled Hosseini's masterwork. Perhaps you and your readers might enjoy my review of the book for U.S. Navy sailors; the Kite Runner is on the list of books on the Navy's Professional Reading Program. This book can help us all understand our similarities despite our cultural differences:

http://navyreads.blogspot.com/